Costa Rica: A Global Studies Handbook

By Meg Tyler Mitchell; Scott Pentzer | Go to book overview

Significant People, Institutions,
Places, and Events

Abolition of the Army. The armed forces of Costa Rica were abolished on December 1, 1948, by José Figueres acting as head of a provisional junta that had taken power after Figueres’s faction won the civil war of that same year. The armed forces had never been very strong in Costa Rica, and Costa Ricans are almost unanimously proud now to have no army or navy and that their country has proclaimed itself neutral (1983). In the absence of the armed forces, policing duties are divided among many different entities.

Alajuela. This is the one of the most important cities in the Central Valley and is the capital of the Alajuela Province. The city, which lies to the west of San José, was founded in 1782. The Juan Santamaría International Airport is now located there, as is the principal monument to the national hero after whom the airport is named. The city’s soccer team, La Liga Deportiva Alajuelense (“La Liga”), is usually one of the top two teams in the country and has fans throughout Costa Rica.

Aqueductos y Acantarillados (AyA). The Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Drainage was founded in 1960. It is the arm of the government responsible for providing clean water and sewage services. Because of its success in bringing potable water to almost the entire country, public health improved greatly in Costa Rica during the last decades of the 20th century. The AyA has done a much poorer job of providing for the disposal of urban sewage,

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Costa Rica: A Global Studies Handbook
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Series Editor’s Foreword ix
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • Maps xix
  • Part One - Narrative Section 1
  • Chapter One - Geography and History 3
  • Chapter Two - The Costa Rican Economy 93
  • Chapter Three - Politics and Institutions 169
  • Chapter Four - Society and Culture 227
  • Part Two - Reference Section 293
  • Key Events in Costa Rican History 295
  • Significant People, Institutions, Places, and Events 303
  • Costa Rican Language, Food, and Etiquette 321
  • Costa Rica–Related Organizations 333
  • Annotated Bibliography of Recommended Works on Costa Rica 345
  • Index 355
  • About the Authors 367
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